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Pet Life

Quirky facts all dog lovers must know

Alixandra Caole Vila - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Aside from the fact that they are adorable, dogs are fascinating creatures, too. Here are some of the mind-blowing facts that you probably do not know about your furry friend.

Dog noses are like human’s fingerprint

No two dog noses are the same. A dog's nose is the equivalent of a human fingerprint, with each having a unique pattern.

How to get nose print?

If you want to take a nose print from your dog just for fun, it's quite simple: Wipe your dog's nose with a towel to dry its surface. Pour food coloring onto a paper towel and lightly coat your pet's nose with it. Then hold a pad of paper to her nose, making sure to let the pad's sides curve around to pick up impressions from the sides of the nose, as well. You may have to try a couple of times until you get the right amount of food coloring and the right amount of pressure to produce a print in which the little patterns on the nose are clear.

Dogs dream like humans
Researchers found out that the sleeping patterns and brain wave activities of humans and dogs are similar. Have you ever seen your dog have rapid eye movements while sleeping? That could be a sign that they are actually in a deep state of dreaming. Other involuntary movements while sleeping such as twitching, whimpering and breathing rapidly may also be a sign that they are dreaming.

Psychology Today suggests that most of the time, a dog’s dream is about the activities that they engaged into during that day. 
 

Normally, dogs are as smart as a two-year-old baby
Psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia shared at  the American Psychological Association's 117th Annual Convention that dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child aged two to 2.5 years. They can also understand more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats. Also according to him, the top smartest breeds are Border collies, poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Dobermans, Shetland sheepdogs and Labrador retrievers.

Tail wagging has various meanings
According to Animalplanet.com, dogs wag their tails to the right when they're happy and to the left when they're frightened. E'Lise Christensen Bell, veterinarian and board certified veterinary behaviorist at Veterinary Behavior Consultations of New York City says that if the tail wagging is accompanied stiffened muscles, dilated pupils, tense facial muscles, or ears pinned forward or back, these are signs that you should back off because these implies aggression.

Dogs can sense diseases
Aside from having sixth sense, as in behaving in a strange ways when a catastrophe is about to happen, such storms, according to reports, dogs can sense cancer and epilepsy. Jacqueline Pritchard, an expert in animal behavior in the United Kingdom, agrees the explanation is biochemical, rather than psychic. This can be attributed to the ability of the dog to smell chemicals given off by the human body.

It is normal for dogs to eat their own feces
Coprophagia, or the act of consuming own feces is a normal behavior in many species, including dogs, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says. Despite much hypothesizing about nutritional deficiencies, there is no apparent reason for this strange behavior.

Dog feet may smell like corn
Since your dog's feet are always in contact with the ground, it may get a lot of bacteria and fungi. In addition, dogs cool off by panting and sweating through the pads of their feet. The combination of moisture and bacteria  that builds up in the fur of the feet and between the pads can contribute to the nutty, popcorn-like or corn chip aroma. This condition is often called 'frito feet.'

Multiple breaths
Aside from cooling off through their pads, dogs can also cool off through panting. Sentinelsource.com says that a panting dog can take 300-400 breaths (compared to his regular 30-40) with very little effort. Because of the natural elasticity of the lungs and airways, panting does not expend much energy, nor does it create additional heat. 

Dogs have three eyelids
Dogs have an upper lid, a lower lid  and the third eyelid (nictitating membrane) is thought to offer protection for the eyeball and to help in removing foreign bodies. Third eyelids are normally concealed beneath the lower eyelids, but one or both may become prominent with certain diseases, for several hours after general anesthetic, and with irritation from a foreign body.

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